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Owners Seek Personalization, Customization, and Originality

Miami, FL, October 16, 2008 – It may not be that surprising to learn that millions of active leisure travelers are interested in purchasing timeshare. What may be surprising, however, is that potential vacation owners, when compared with their counterparts who are not interested in securing their future vacations, have a greater zest for life, are more interested in trying new things, and taking risks.

These findings are from the newly released Future Timeshare Buyers: 2008 Market Profile, which was prepared from data collected for the Ypartnership/Yankelovich, Inc. 2008 National Leisure Travel MONITORSM, a strategic marketing tool for travel and leisure industry product and service suppliers. The study was developed exclusively for Interval International, a leading provider of vacation services, which released the study at the 10th Annual Vacation Ownership Investment Conference recently held in Orlando, Florida.

The data for this analysis were collected during January and February 2008 and the results are representative of the population of all U.S. adults who are active leisure travelers. Respondents had taken at least one trip primarily for leisure purposes of at least 75 miles from home that required overnight accommodations during the previous year.

Leisure travelers who are interested in purchasing vacation time also are more likely to feel they don’t have enough time for themselves and are striving for a balance between work and personal life. These personal viewpoints converge to reveal a desire to “live life to the fullest,” said Peter C. Yesawich, chairman and chief executive officer of Ypartnership, co-author of the annual survey with Yankelovich, Inc. He explains that this consistent focus on individual needs and lifestyles “is reflected in their demand for personalization and customization,” noting that “they want more brands, more types of products, and more consumer choices overall so they can select what best fits their needs.”

This group can also be characterized as individuals chasing originality, expressed by their pursuit of new experiences. They prefer traveling to places that are more than just entertainment, where they can also get a sense of participation, and spending their money on life-enriching experiences. “What's perhaps most interesting,” said Howard A. Bendell, director of market research and analysis for Interval International, “is that while the demography of potential timeshare buyers is largely reflective of Boomers, the psychographics are more akin to attributes more often related to Generations X and Y.”

These findings are of importance to the vacation ownership industry, Bendell explained, because “timeshare developers are in the perfect position to offer these consumers exactly what they want: personalization, customization, and originality – in the form of vacation experiences that are tailor-made for the individual every year.” Bendell noted that timeshare vacations are anything but cookie-cutter variety, and that “families can create a different experience each year through a myriad of resort offerings and by using the ability to exchange their resort time.”

This study also reveals that future timeshare buyers are willing to pay as much as 20 percent more for a product or service that is customized to their specifications. “People are now willing to pay more for personal service if they see it as a good value proposition,” observed Bendell.

What does this all mean for the vacation ownership business? “It’s important to note there are now more people in the U.S. who are interested in purchasing timeshare than there are who currently own vacation time,” said Yesawich. “They're looking for a vacation experience that fits their changing needs, and this augers well for the future growth of the business.”


Other Notable Findings

  • Prospective timeshare buyers have taken an average of nearly five (4.6) qualifying leisure trips during the past 12 months — a significantly higher number than their non-interested counterparts (3.5). They are also more likely to be planning to take more leisure trips during the next twelve months than they took last year (49% vs. 27%).

  • Roughly six in ten (56%) leisure travelers who are interested in purchasing vacation time have taken a trip with their spouse or another adult without children. They are more likely than their counterparts, however, to have traveled with their children in addition to their spouse/another adult (50% vs. 34%). Nearly three in ten (29%) took at least one vacation alone last year.

  • Approximately eight in ten leisure travelers who are interested in purchasing vacation time are interested in visiting the Western (83%) or Southern (78%) geographic regions of the U.S. during the next two years. More than four in ten (43%) would like to visit the Northeast, and two in ten (21%) express interest in the Midwest.  Europe continues to be the preferred international destination among leisure travelers interested in purchasing vacation time, mentioned by more than seven in ten (72%). Nearly one-quarter (22%) are interested in visiting the Caribbean, and approximately one in six is interested in visiting Australia (17%) or Mexico (15%).

Interval International operates membership programs for vacation owners and provides value-added services to its developer clients worldwide. Based in Miami, Florida, the company has been a pioneer and innovator in serving the vacation ownership market for more than 30 years. Today, Interval has a network of over 2,400 resorts in excess of 75 countries and offers its resort clients and nearly 2 million member families high-quality products and programs through 27 offices in 17 countries. Interval is an operating segment of Interval Leisure Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: IILG), a leading global provider of membership and leisure services to consumers and business-to-business customers in the vacation industry.​

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Interval International, 6262 Sunset Drive, Miami, FL 33143